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Princess Kate and Prince William "are extremely moved" by public response to her cancer diagnosis, palace says

Catherine, Princess of Wales, and her husband, Prince William, "are extremely moved" by the global response to her cancer diagnosis, Kensington Palace said in a statement on behalf of the couple, and reiterated their plea for privacy right now. 

The princess, also known as Kate Middleton, announced last week that she had been diagnosed after the abdominal surgery in January that prompted her highly-scrutinized disappearance from public life.

"The Prince and Princess are both enormously touched by the kind messages from people here in the U.K., across the Commonwealth and around the world in response to Her Royal Highness' message," said a spokesperson for the palace on Saturday night. "They are extremely moved by the public's warmth and support and are grateful for the understanding of their request for privacy at this time."

The palace will not be releasing additional updates about Princess Kate this weekend, the statement added.

"We are of course happy to take technical questions but noting the need to give the family space and privacy at this time," the spokesperson said.

Public figures across the globe have spoken out to voice support for the princess in the wake of the announcement. So have various members of the royal family, including King Charles III, who said in a statement released by Buckingham Palace that he was "so proud of Catherine for her courage in speaking as she did," and has remained in the "closest contact with his beloved daughter-in-law" in recent weeks, the Associated Press reported. The king and Queen Camilla "will continue to offer their love and support to the whole family through this difficult time," the palace said in that statement, according to the AP.

Prince Harry and Meghan also shared a statement responding to Kate's diagnosis.

"We wish health and healing for Kate and the family, and hope they are able to do so privately and in peace," the statement said.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement Kate had the "love and support of the whole country," and Kate's video post on Instagram has nearly 5 million likes. 

Social media and tabloid headlines had been awash in rumors and conspiracy theories about Kate's whereabouts since the palace announced in January that she would be absent from royal duties, including public appearances, for several months while she recovered from a planned abdominal surgery

The news that King Charles was undergoing cancer treatment exacerbated an already swirling online frenzy about the princess' health when it came to light in early February, but the rumors reached a fever pitch last week, when an image of Kate with her three children, George, Charlotte and Louis, was found to have been digitally altered before being released on Mother's Day in the U.K. Kate later apologized and said she had edited the photo after the palace had refused to release an original.

Seemingly answering to the controversies and increasingly imaginative speculation over her well-being, it was Kate herself who announced her cancer diagnosis in a video message recorded last Wednesday at her family's home in Windsor and released two days later. Like the king, the princess did not specify which form of cancer she has, but she said when the video was recorded that she had recently begun a preventative course of chemotherapy.

Kate said she had undergone major abdominal surgery earlier this year for a condition initially thought to be non-cancerous. She said the surgery was a success, but said that subsequent testing revealed "cancer had been present."

"This of course came as a huge shock, and William and I have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family," she said in the video message. "As you can imagine, this has taken time. It has taken me time to recover from major surgery in order to start my treatment. But, most importantly, it has taken us time to explain everything to George, Charlotte and Louis in a way that is appropriate for them, and to reassure them that I am going to be OK."

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